On June 9th, I had the pleasure of hosting the Anancy! Anansi! Folklore Festival in Washington, DC. I had approached Dr. Claire Nelson about doing a children’s event at one of the Institute of Caribbean Studies Embassy Series events earlier last year. When the opportunity came up for Washington, DC to host the Anancy festival for the first time, she asked me to handle it.
The event was part of the Anansi Festival Tour, and was part of the Institute of Caribbean Studies‘ celebration of Caribbean American Heritage Month.
Local DC, Maryland, and Virginia families joined us for the storytelling event. Despite the DC traffic, and several other events that were going on in the area, we had over 100 adults and children visited the event between 9:30 and 12:30. We even had a guest come down from Canada, just for the festival!
The Anancy Festival was started by Xavier Murphy of Jamaicans.com in Florida. This year, the festival has expanded to five cities – Ft. Lauderdale/Pembroke Pines (Florida – US), Nairobi (Kenya), Kingston (Jamaica), Orlando (Florida – US), and Washington, DC (US).
We had performances from ICS (Institute of Caribbean Studies) president, Dr. Claire Nelson, and Joelle “Wendy” Cohen, author. The children (and parents) enjoyed a screening of the Ananse cartoon – Ananse and Bald Head Chicky. There was face painting, coloring and crafts (courtesy of Granted Media), t-shirts (with fabric markers for the kids to decorate their shirts), and a parents corner (courtesy of Revolutionary Performance Management, Inc.) with snacks, fruit, coffee, and juice boxes for the kids. “Aunt Nancy’s House” was a big hit! The kids and parents colored, decorated, and crawled in and out of it from the start of the festival to the end – yes, the parents were in Aunt Nancy’s house too! The parents were able to take home catalogs from Macmillan Caribbean so that they can further introduce their children to Caribbean books and stories.
Photos from the event are in the gallery below. Photos from the other cities are available on anancyfestival.com
Click here for video from the event. More videos to come! Thank you so much to everyone who was able to join us. See you next year!